Founding member and mentor
19 years in recovery
My name is Louise Goodman I have been sober of drugs and alcohol since Feb 14, 2000. I took my first drink at 3, had my favourite drink by the time i was 10 and was doing cocaine and LSD regularly by 14. I dropped out of school and left my family at 15 and was using daily by the time I was 16. I had my first overdose at 16 and woke up in the children’s psych ward and I called my cocaine dealer to pick me up three days into my stay against doctor recommendations.
I became a street involved teenager and frequently squatted, hitch hiked across Canada, and lived a very chaotic unstable life. Throughout this time, I was also addicted to self harm by cutting.
I was arrested as an adult and this began my first stint at sobriety at 19. I court ordered into treatment and to recovery meetings. This lasted approximately 2 years, and in that time I managed to find stable housing and get into college as a mature student (I still only have 9 credits from high school). Finally, I began to have some success in my life.
I completed my first year of college and then relapsed. Within three weeks of my relapse, I was pregnant and living with my brand new alcoholic boyfriend. I managed to stay sober throughout my pregnancy and gave birth at 23. I marveled at my precious daughter Siobhan, which means God’s Grace in Gaelic.
I was not done using yet, but I was using a harm reduction approach for the following years. This seemed to be “good enough” until I realized that my addiction was going to cost me the most important thing, my daughter.
Throughout my life I have always been active, even as a street involved youth, and the even in the height of my addictions I would run and lift weights. I would often use exercise as form of punishment to detox from my benders or to calm my extreme anxiety. I found out later in recovery that I have PTSD, and the exercise that I was doing helped me build resiliency and most likely saved my life. When my emotions were overwhelming, exercise kept my desire to die at bay.
In my recovery I have accomplished some amazing things; I completed treatment for my PTSD, graduated with my Masters degree, raised an amazingly strong and confident daughter who lives life to the fullest without needing to escape through drugs, and I married my soulmate.
Exercise was my meditation throughout my recovery and I desperately wanted a sober fitness community. I played competitive roller derby, boxed, trained for multiple marathons and taught running. None of these things provided me the the sense of community until I joined Crossfit. I felt stronger emotionally and physically. My daughter joined up and our box never offered me anything but unconditional support and encouragement. I felt a sense of belonging for the first time in a long time. I know that lifting has saved my mental health and recovery at a time where I was really beginning to question my recovery and the through of using entered my mind.
I was inspired by Krissy Mae Cagney in the USA and her Reps4Recovery program. Creating a strong sober community while normalizing recovery is so important. People need to know that they are not their addictions. This is why I am helping develop this program to give back what has been given to me. We want to build a community that supports each other’s recovery and fitness journeys. I truly believe fitness and recovery go hand in hand; strong bodies create strong minds and community helps all of us get through this tough thing called life.